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06-09-2008, 01:23 AM   #1
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The Next Generation?

What will the next generation of DSLR's be? Will the pixel race ever end and will the consumer accept Quality over Quantity. When is enough enough? The numbers game has worked to date, but will the majors start communicating other aspects of what is important, to slow down this endemic procession?

I know what I want. I know what I need. I don't like using medium format camera's, as I find them cumbersome and as a result problematic. I don't like the weight of the Canon 1Ds Mklll's or the Nikon D3's. I want a DSLR that has the output quality of a medium format digital back, but in a compact package similar to the K20D and the grip.
I want to see a 25 to 30 mega pixel DSLR with noise levels similar to the Dalsa digital sensors at 100 iso.

I am sure we will get there, but at what cost? To date, the K20D has served me well and for all intent and purpose outperforms the K10D significantly. I prefer the rendition of the images coming out of it. It doesn't look as digital as what comes out of the Sony sensor. I actually like the look of Canon images. Many here don't. The output from the K20D is like a mix between the Nikon D300 and the Canon 40D's.
Perhaps that has more to do with being a CMOS rather than a CCD sensor. The programming of the color output is a factor as well of course.

In many of my discussions with Pentax, they often voiced their desire and intent to eventually go FF. Perhaps that time will come sooner than later.

None the less, it will be interesting to see what will be on offer come September of 2008.

Ben

06-09-2008, 02:02 AM   #2
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Megapixel race is far from over and I believe Sony went to 36x24 sensor only to have 20 something pixels without giving up iso performance.
The race for quantity will stop when people stop being people. Unfortunately.
06-09-2008, 02:04 AM   #3
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Whether a genuine post of future hopes from Pentax or an ongoing inkling of what's to come "Perhaps that time will come sooner than later" I enjoy reading your posts Ben.

From recent talk and speculation the focus appears to be geared toward what can set Pentax apart from the rest. That's basically what I'm holding out for as well the "Next Generation". The K100D has done me well so far and with only 4600 captures I'm definitely still learning. My biggest investment to date has been lenses but most I've had since the K1000.

My only concern and something I hope they address is creating a camera without any distinguishable flaws or limited characteristics vs the competition that would prevent the majority of the consumers from purchasing. The K20D was touted as the Next Best Thing and Bombshell to the DSLR world yet it didn't quite live up to the title and sales have shown that. I see buying cameras the same as a car. If there's something simplistic that's done wrong or left out I'll often hold off or look elsewhere. Luckily we only need to wait 6-12mo for an upgraded package vs. every 3-5 years. In either case I hope to have a K20 or what ever is next in line by the end of the year, if possible.

-Greg
06-09-2008, 02:10 AM   #4
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Important thing is will the next camera be out by Christmas?
Pentax should abandon rolling out lenses with the APS-C sized image circle pronto.

06-09-2008, 03:06 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Pentax should abandon rolling out lenses with the APS-C sized image circle pronto.
I hope they don't.
06-09-2008, 03:20 AM   #6
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Ned recently did an interview but I can't find the link to it, sorry. After carefully reading it I think you are right about a FF is just around the corner only because Samsung wants it and has developed the sensor. There will be no other bodies coming from Pentax for the foreseeable future because Hoya is not interested in investing any money at this point.

I hope they keep the footprint as small as possible. The D3 and other FF bodies are just to big. From the samples I've see I think you are right about the Samsung sensor verses the Sony sensor. Unfortunately I'm afraid the MP race is not over. While I'd like to see a small form FF body with 16-18MPs, it will more likely be a 24-36mp sensor and larger body.

A faster AF system is something I don't think Pentax will be addressing, it's not in their view a priority for the niche market they want to go after. My guess is if the Pentax development staff had their druthers they would opt for the lower MP count on a relatively small FF body. Pressure from Samsung will make it a high MP sensor.

A long time ago you said bodies are going to get cheaper and cheaper, and I agree. The K10D is a very good APS-C prime lens body and the K20D is better but at to high a price IMO. If the new FF body is priced right and the high ISO quality is better than the K20D I'll buy it regardless of the MP count.

I've given up on Pentax addressing the fast AF system and have added a Sony A700 with zooms for that type of shooting. At $660 for the camera it fit in with the philosophy of low cost bodies. My hope is the FF will be priced under $2,000 and I can use my primes on it.

Ken

BTW Ben, your evaluation of the Tamron 28-75 was spot on, a great lens at any price, thanks.

Last edited by regken; 06-09-2008 at 03:56 AM.
06-09-2008, 03:21 AM   #7
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Megapixel race is like the PC CPU Ghz race... and when it reaches the technology ceiling.... we get dual or multiple cores... even at a slower speed.

Maybe my next DSLR will still have 14Mpx, but dynamic range closer to human eyes, and ISO 6400 noise like the 200 of today, and Flash sync speed upto 1/4000!
06-09-2008, 04:52 AM   #8
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The next generation should be a really K10D follower that meaning a medium level camera better by far than all the rest in its class.
IMO this could be a chance for Pentax to really differentiate from the rest of the pack. If they are to do a new 10-11 Mp CMOS sensor with the technology from the 14,6 Mp sensors and the same size it just may be the most performing sensor in terms of noise and DR in the APS-C range. Add LV done right and they may have the foundation to challenge the best camera other manufacturers have today.

1) Use this sensor in full for a K300D;
2) Make some digital camera family with it for a premium price (a Sigma DP1 done right);
3) Use it crippled in an entry level camera (ISO 1600 max, slower fps, smaller buffer);
4) Launch all of the above in a year’s time max and in reverse order with 3) ready for the Xmas season.

I guess they could boost market presence and brand awareness by far.

As for the FF I have nothing against it but (this was debated to death) where are the lenses for this? I'll be more than interested to see a test of FA LTDs with a 25 Mp full frame sensor. My guess would be that 31 and 43 will manage but not 77 (based on resolution charts from photozone). Also remember what L glass from canon behaves on the 1Ds Mark3. And even more important where is the market for such a system? I don't see many professional abandon tens of thousands of dollars in canon or nikon glass to come to a Pentax (or sony for that matter) with couple of primes.

Radu

06-09-2008, 06:22 AM   #9
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The next Lens roadmap is due I believe, and should give a hint or two...
06-09-2008, 07:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by benjikan Quote
What will the next generation of DSLR's be? Will the pixel race ever end and will the consumer accept Quality over Quantity. When is enough enough? The numbers game has worked to date, but will the majors start communicating other aspects of what is important, to slow down this endemic procession?

I know what I want. I know what I need. I don't like using medium format camera's, as I find them cumbersome and as a result problematic. I don't like the weight of the Canon 1Ds Mklll's or the Nikon D3's. I want a DSLR that has the output quality of a medium format digital back, but in a compact package similar to the K20D and the grip.
I want to see a 25 to 30 mega pixel DSLR with noise levels similar to the Dalsa digital sensors at 100 iso.

I am sure we will get there, but at what cost? To date, the K20D has served me well and for all intent and purpose outperforms the K10D significantly. I prefer the rendition of the images coming out of it. It doesn't look as digital as what comes out of the Sony sensor. I actually like the look of Canon images. Many here don't. The output from the K20D is like a mix between the Nikon D300 and the Canon 40D's.
Perhaps that has more to do with being a CMOS rather than a CCD sensor. The programming of the color output is a factor as well of course.

In many of my discussions with Pentax, they often voiced their desire and intent to eventually go FF. Perhaps that time will come sooner than later.

None the less, it will be interesting to see what will be on offer come September of 2008.

Ben
Ben, we can only speculate what will eventually transpire! Pentax seem to be keeping their cards pretty close to their chest these days, so it all we can do. Maybe they don't know what to do either!

If you extrapolate the same sensor well size of the current K20D sensor to a FF (36 x 24mm) size you would get a 34MP sensor, the question is, would that be enough for you and are you content with the ISO 100 noise from the K20D?

Samsung have made noises that they intend to develop such a device. It is conceivable that such a sensor could be fitted into a similar sized body as the K20D, after all, the original MZ-D (K1 prototype) was actually smaller. However there is some speculation that the SR mechanism would need to be larger for a bigger sensor, so the body may have to grow accordingly. I don't think they would ever drop SR.

As you say, it will be interesting to see if they do announce their intentions sooner rather than later, but I expect the next release to be an entry point base model rather than anything as ambitious as a FF body. But they may feel the need to make their intentions clear for marketing reasons.

I actually suspect that the next body after that will still be APS-C, but with improvements to fps, AF and flash with even more pro-oriented features, which is what the punters (and reviewers) are looking for. Whether that new body design will be engineered to be able to take a future larger sensor or just a next generation version of the existing K20D sensor with further improvements to the image processor pipeline and maybe even more megapixels, is anyones guess.

One thing I'm pretty sure of is that Pentax will move away from the Sony CCD sensor in a K200D upgrade/replacement, maybe even in the new entry point model. That way, they can further differentiate themselves from Nikon and Sony.

As for matching the ISO 100 noise from a Dalsa MF sensor, that I feel is a way off as yet, it's speculated by some that at low ISO's a CCD has slightly better noise than a CMOS, couple that with the much larger sensor site area and I think you may have a bit of a wait as yet!
06-09-2008, 07:16 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
In many of my discussions with Pentax, they often voiced their desire and intent to eventually go FF. Perhaps that time will come sooner than later.

None the less, it will be interesting to see what will be on offer come September of 2008.

Ben
Let see what Pentax has for my birthday
06-09-2008, 08:40 AM   #12
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I'm Holding Out...for now

The improvement Pentax has made with the K20 is only half of what I'm waiting for. I would hope the next release "K30D" will come with greatly improved AF performance. Pentax has invested a lot of energy into the DA* line of lenses. The next logical step would be to "beef" up the AF capabilities of the camera. Right now I'm shooting both Pentax (K10) and Canon (40D) and have to say that I'm very fond of the Canon AF system and the dynamic range. That's my opinion. I do not desire to quibble about brands. I will say that I'm very impressed and still favor the initial color output of the K10 more than the 40D. However, I shoot in Raw so it's no big deal. I get beautiful output with both systems.

Ben, there are two things I wanted to touch on.

1) I read in another post that you post with ACR. Those studio photos were awesome BTW!! I'm wondering if you've ever taken a look at SilkyPix Development Studio? If you did, what did you think? The reason I ask is because I personally have always favored the color rendering of SP over ACR and since you are a pro face for Pentax gear here on the forum, I thought you might have leveraged that resource.

2) After spending some time in the Canon online community, I ran across a very interesting topic on Dark Noise. Canon EOS 40D Dark Noise Histograms I'm wondering if this information applies in the same way to the new K20D cmos sensor. Could ISO 160 be cleaner than ISO 100? I'm wondering if anyone has run tests like this on the K20D.

Take Care and Keep Inspiring! I do appreciate it,

Chuck
06-09-2008, 09:40 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Chuck Lee Quote
The improvement Pentax has made with the K20 is only half of what I'm waiting for. I would hope the next release "K30D" will come with greatly improved AF performance. Pentax has invested a lot of energy into the DA* line of lenses. The next logical step would be to "beef" up the AF capabilities of the camera. Right now I'm shooting both Pentax (K10) and Canon (40D) and have to say that I'm very fond of the Canon AF system and the dynamic range. That's my opinion. I do not desire to quibble about brands. I will say that I'm very impressed and still favor the initial color output of the K10 more than the 40D. However, I shoot in Raw so it's no big deal. I get beautiful output with both systems.

Ben, there are two things I wanted to touch on.

1) I read in another post that you post with ACR. Those studio photos were awesome BTW!! I'm wondering if you've ever taken a look at SilkyPix Development Studio? If you did, what did you think? The reason I ask is because I personally have always favored the color rendering of SP over ACR and since you are a pro face for Pentax gear here on the forum, I thought you might have leveraged that resource.

2) After spending some time in the Canon online community, I ran across a very interesting topic on Dark Noise. Canon EOS 40D Dark Noise Histograms I'm wondering if this information applies in the same way to the new K20D cmos sensor. Could ISO 160 be cleaner than ISO 100? I'm wondering if anyone has run tests like this on the K20D.

Take Care and Keep Inspiring! I do appreciate it,

Chuck
Hello Chuck;

Hope all is well. I really do prefer working with ACR. I prefer the interface, it's seamless segueing in to PS and the colour rendition as well. In fact I really appreciate most of the features in ACR3. I really think it comes down to very personal preferences. Go with the software you feel most comfortable with. I am an Adobe man and have been for centuries...

Ben
06-09-2008, 09:47 AM   #14
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Ben, I appreciate the handling of a 35mm-style camera (like the K20D.)

But, I really like the large viewfinder image of medium format, especially a waist-level finder. It really let's me focus on composition and light to see the image projected on a big ground glass. I don't think an EVF could ever deliver the same experience.

Are you OK with the current generation of viewfinders? Or do you think there is room for a different kind of DSLR than we have in the market right now?
06-09-2008, 11:38 AM   #15
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In the consumer/prosumer market is there any real need/value in a DSLR having any better resolution and IQ than say a K1000 and top-notch glass shooting Kodachrome 64? And at what megapixel do we achieve this? From my standpoint that's as good an image as I will ever desire.
Beyond that personally I would prefer to see the manufacturers concentrate on the other aspects of camera technology like bigger/brighter viewfinders, shutter speeds, sustained continuous drive speed, adding and/or improving ISO ranges below 100 and above 3200, camera ergonomics.
In the end I would also like to see every "current" Pentax DSLR model come out with equal/comparable sensor technology while offering a wider variety of feature sets and price points. When you take a shot with a K1000 vs a ME-Super vs a PZ-1 vs an LX all with the same 50mm lens and all with the same ISO 100 film and all at f/5.6 & 1/60s won't they all take essentially the same exact quality photo?
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